Did Steelers know helmet mess was looming for Antonio Brown?

Getty Images

Raiders receiver Antonio Brown wants to wear the helmet he wore during nine seasons with the Steelers. His insistence on getting his way has become one of the strangest off-field stories in recent memory, if not ever.

Here’s an interesting question about the situation: Did the Steelers know that the helmet fight was coming?

Although Brown’s helmet isn’t one of the 11 models that as of this year are banned from use by NFL players, Brown’s helmet simply couldn’t be certified for use again because it’s now more than 10 years old. Last year, it wasn’t. It’s fair to wonder whether someone at some point within the Steelers organization became aware that 2018 was the last year that Brown could wear his helmet of choice.

Given that the Steelers knew Brown’s proclivities and eccentricities as well as anyone, it’s possible that they sensed the coming storm. Avoiding this potential distraction to their 2019 preseason preparations may have been one of the factors in the team’s decision to move on from Brown.

Yes, the perception is that Brown broke up with the Steelers. That he wanted out and got out. But the Steelers may have wanted him out, opting to let him think he was getting his way because the broader objective was just to get him away from the organization.

The next question becomes whether the Raiders knew anything about this potential helmet issue before trading for Brown. Although they can’t be surprised that he’s behaving in a manner similar to the way he behaved in Pittsburgh, whether they welcomed Brown to town knowing that the helmet situation could become a thing is interesting, to say the least.

Given the stunning nature of Brown’s stubborn refusal to bend to collectively-bargained rules, it’s safe to assume the Raiders didn’t realize this was coming. And while the Steelers, if they knew about the looming helmet issue, may not have expected such an explosion over it, they’re probably not surprised — and they’re probably very happy that he’s currently someone else’s headache.

26 responses to “Did Steelers know helmet mess was looming for Antonio Brown?

  1. So…..this is all the Steelers fault then?

    “but the Steelers may have wanted him out, opting to let him think he was getting his way because the broader objective was just to get him away from the organization.”

    Ya think? Of course they wanted this nutbag out. The Raiders were the ones stupid enough to buy something directly in front of the huge “buyer beware” billboard Brown put up all by himself.

  2. doe22us says:
    August 12, 2019 at 12:39 pm
    Not the Steelers issue anymore looming or not, deuces.


    Are the Steelers not paying AB’s salary for this season?

  3. It must be nice to be so blessed and highly favored to be able to walk away from 30 million because you refuse to change into a different helmet.

  4. Please. If Brown didn’t force his way out, Steelers would still be in this horrific relationship like an abused spouse. Thank God that franchise regained some of its dignity by finally being rid of this diva to end all divas.

  5. yes i’m sure they knew this was coming. sarcasm.

    all the steelers knew is they wanted/needed this guy off their team. that #3 and #5 “steal” the raiders got? already starting to look good for the steelers right now.

  6. Think how awesome the Steelers offense would be if Bell and Brown weren’t so damn weird.

  7. The Steelers are not paying Brown a cent this season. Just because they have a cap hit due to the contract he signed with them all of his pay comes from the Raiders.

  8. Some questions:

    1) When a player switches teams, doesn’t he get a new helmet or is it common practice to just paint his old helmet to match the new team?

    2) Don’t they have backup helmets and doesn’t Brown have one that’s less than 10 years old? I mean what happens if his helmet is damaged in a game? Does that mean he can’t return to that game or any future game until they make a new helmet for him?

  9. The Steelers would have kept Brown if that had any chance of working out. Whether they knew about the helmet thing or not, getting rid of him was not their preferred option (until it was clear he was going to force it).
    While they’re probably happy not to deal with helmet fits and idiotic frostbite, it’s silly to pretend like trading him for a couple mid-round picks was what they wanted al along.

  10. Brown should suspended for the season for trying to extort the league into ignoring safety protocols spearheaded jointly by the NFLPA and NFL.

  11. So far I would say the Steelrs smoked the Raiders, getting a 3rd and a 5th. But let’s see what happens once the season starts.

  12. How would that conversation have gone back in Pittsburgh? Probably something like this.

    “AB, you know you can’t wear that helmet next year, right?”
    “Nah, I’mma retire if I can’t wear this one right here.”

    Somehow, I don’t think that statement would have been taken very seriously.

  13. The idea of the Steelers trading a guy because he is a bit of a head case makes sense, but there is no way the Steelers foresaw this debate and traded him over it. That is right up there with the Flat Earth Society and people who think the moon landing was a hoax.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.